What’s in YOUR garden?

It’s hard to get motivated about anything when the weather turns as miserable as it has been this week, especially after such a lovely period of sunshine. Finding things to do isn’t easy. But if you don’t want to go anywhere too far, why not spend just a few minutes in your own garden, even just looking through the window to see what’s out there. You might be surprised…

Set up some bird feeders in your garden, somewhere where you’ll have a good view from your window. Keep them stocked up and you’ll soon have an abundance of birds coming to feed daily. Sunflower hearts seem to be most popular in my garden, and if you’re quiet and careful enough you can open a window whilst the birds are feeding and take a few sneaky shots whilst they’re preoccupied.

At this time of year most chicks are starting to fledge, and if the parents are regulars to your bird feeders, they will bring their young to your garden to feed them. Fledgelings have huge appetites and the parents will spend all day visiting feeders and flying back to their young with seeds to keep them satisfied.

Good weather or bad, the birds still need to feed, so even when its pouring down you can still see birds in your garden.

Finches love Niger seeds but you will need a specific feeder for them, one that has very small holes so the seeds don’t fall through and that only narrow finch beaks can reach into.

Robins are a familiar sight all year round, try tempting them closer with mealworms, dried ones can be found in lots of supermarkets and garden centres, or you can send off online for live ones. WigglyWigglers is a great site that has a good selection, but be warned, lots of birds love them, and an adult starling can clear your birdtable of them in one visit!

If you can’t see any birds, try looking a little closer into your grass, trees and bushes, you may find plenty of wildlife hidden away in there too. Overcast weather is great for photographing insects, as the light is even and less harsh. Insects will also move a lot slower without bright sun to warm their blood so you will find them easier to stalk!

Grasshoppers are surprisingly easy to find if you just have a little patience and a good eye. Look for a place with long grass, and you will need a warm day, a warm summer’s evening is ideal. Listen for the classic grasshopper sound of them rubbing their legs together, approach carefully and try to pinpoint roughly where the sound is coming from. If you are quiet enough the grasshopper will stay where it is, even if it stops chirping, and careful parting of the grass should reveal it’s hiding place. If you get too close it will leap away and you can watch where it lands.